Telesales training to keep remote agents close
Telesales training to keep remote agents close
Is your telesales training of remote agents all about numbers, hitting targets, espousing the values of mission statements, the importance of customer experience, but totally missing the mark when it comes to the contact centre tools they’re using?
Telesales training is a crucial part of the puzzle in building capable remote agents; however, it also comes with the responsibility of adopting forward-thinking techniques to help them thrive in a virtual environment and stay on top of their sales targets. And this starts with the tools they’re using.
People are now working remotely at an increasing rate – from home to co-working spaces and overseas call centres – and for this to work need ultimate trust in the phone systems they’re using. This is central to how well they can truly perform.
While good telesales training is vital, remote agents can only go so far if they’re still driving an old golf cart. This is where you want to make sure you’re handing over keys to a powerful, cloud-based weapon with ‘self-management’ written all over it.
This doesn’t have to mean access to the central vault, rather, a platform that gives them a level of control to self-manage their queue activities and time. A powerful queuing system will help with this, giving agents the flexibility to login and out of queues and adjust call routing automatically to other agents without causing a ripple effect.
And the trickle-down effect of this will be profound. Self-management will not only get rid of double-handling but also instil a sense of trust from remote agents, who know that the phone system they’re using can adapt to their change and keep things running smoothly, no matter what.
Let them work the tools
Keeping your remote agents inspired and on a constant learning curve is all about letting them work the tools your contact centre software has to offer.
Let training become a part of keeping them close. Offer ongoing advice, mentoring, role-play scenarios, regular test modules and more, so they can stay up to speed with best practice and any software updates.
You want your agents to experience ease-of-use with the platform they’re using, with the ability to login from anywhere and start making calls. And while your agents are on a call, you want them to be able to view a clean interface and uncluttered dashboard that will let them:
- View their personal profile, campaign details and any updates
- View customer information before each call is connected
- Sight-read calling scripts when on a call
- Respond to live feedback from managers
- Make notes and update details important to the call
- Track their personal performance and sales stats
- And login and out of queues at any time.
Having access to this will make them maestros in the outbound world, with the ability to access the right information, reach out to leads, connect with managers and flow from one call to the next.
Hook them into the concept of skills-based ranking
With your outbound team you may decide to go blended and have them also working on inbound calls. Here, hooking your team into the concept of skills-based ranking is a great way to inspire a sense of drive in their agent performance rankings.
Managers can rank employees in ACD queues based on agent skill level, such as:
- Giving the most experienced agents the highest numbers of calls
- Giving less experienced agents a lower number of calls
- Connecting the most experienced agents through first, always
With this, calls can be routed automatically to agents that are ranked the highest and work down in volume and value from there. This helps ease new agents into the role, so they receive a reasonable ammount of calls they can manage, and also have time to learn.
It also fuels a healthy sense of competition from experienced agents who want to handle more calls, have access to the best leads first, and keep beating their old sales targets.
Wrap monitoring & mentoring into one
Agent monitoring is no longer the detached Mr Burns style role, hovering in a sealed-off room with a sinister smile waiting to give someone the chop.
Instead, contact centre software has freed managers from the viewing compound and made telesales training and monitoring a more dynamic and interactive job, where mentoring and employee engagement lie at the core.
Sure, quality control of performance is still a big part of it, but what managers can do with this information is what makes it so dramatically different.
With one simple login from anywhere, managers have the capacity to not only monitor but to stimulate ongoing and continuous improvement in agents and entire teams, irrespective of their location.
They can affect change in real time by live monitoring and helping to tweak performance, scrap things that don’t work, scale to help overflowing queues and all the while staying close and personal to remote agents and guiding them through difficult calls.
Spread the love of gamification
Gamification goes one step further and is a fun and rewarding way to motivate and engage remote agents and promote regular call centre training.
And the reason it’s so successful is that it turns the tedium of isolated work into a social environment of interaction and play. And inspired agents eager to play means more outbound sales can be made.
“Through gamifying the environment, some agents have been able to reduce call time by 15%, and sales have improved among some agents anywhere between 8% and 12%.”
When shaping what kind of games you want your telesales training to use you need to decide what you want out of the game? Is it to foster better training habits? Sales techniques? Team sharing? Knowing this will help you shape the right kind of game narrative and reward system to appeal to your agents.
You can buy pre-made or find a gamification company that can develop a game specific to your remote agent’s needs, such as one that:
- Connects people into online ‘gamer’ style communities
- Is social and offers a reward system
- Is simple and appealing to many gamer types
- Offers a reward system, such as coins, points, stars, high fives for tasks completed
- Shows a leader-board with performance stats to breed a sense of healthy competition
You also want to translate these online goodies into real life rewards, such as a gift cards, voucher or a bonus, to send out to agents and make their day. And make sure you reward participation over winning to encourage constant and continual improvement.
Embrace the ‘remote’ telesales training opportunity
Get used to the idea that more and more of your agents will become ‘remote’ employees or contractors. This is the way the modern workforce is heading. Embrace this new reality and run with it as a key component of your future telesales training.
Bringing remote agents together into a high-performing virtual team is what it’s all about, and cloud-based software makes this possible. It opens call centre businesses up to an international world of agents that can follow the sun and deliver a 24hr inbound and outbound service.
And there’s no reason remote agents shouldn’t be trusted and valued as equally as any on-site staff member. If trained well, in their own environment, with powerful software at their fingertips, they may potentially perform beyond your expectations.
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Flickr CC: Wanderlust